Sunday in Outer Blogness: the Anti-Mormon Moment Edition!!

Mitt Romney‘s impending Republican nomination gives the faithful the opportunity to demonstrate the advantages of Mormonism. But it’s important to teach the controversy, so critics of the CoJCoL-dS are finally getting a moment too!!! And it’s about time, considering how talented and hot former Mormons are. Plus the folks of Outer Blogness have really stepped up to the plate to tell us what Mormonism is like (see 10 Things You Don’t Know about Mormonism), so I hope the world is interested!

In doctrinal info, Runtu is preparing a concise dictionary of Mormonism, Swiftblue explains the council in heaven, Roger Hansen explains some unique (and, unfortunately, de-empahsized) Mormon beliefs about heaven, and Molly has posted the clearest flow-chart I’ve ever seen of the Plan of Salvation. Oh, yeah, and don’t miss this series on Mormon masturbation tips!

On the positive side, the church apparently did a beautiful job on that multi-billion dollar mall they built:

Yes, Utah can be beautiful, but does that tell us anything about the local faith? Speaking of faith, kids say the darndest things:

Teacher: Yeah, but you can’t see the wires or the electricity, can you?

9 Year Old Kids: We could if we opened up the wall and looked.

Teacher: Be reverent. It’s like faith, OK? Just remember that.

Of course, sometimes our personal stories of how Mormonism affected us are more powerful than philosophical arguments. Andrew S explains some of the dynamics of Mormon Stories Communities. And it turns out that the Mormon Stories organization is expanding to include Gay Mormon Stories so others can learn what it’s like to be gay and Mormon — take this story for example.

Similarly, if you need some explanation of Mormon women’s experiences, imagine sitting through this Sunday School lesson:

My hand shot up, and the teacher called on me. I prefer what they say in the temple, because the word as has more than one meaning, and when were told to hearken to our husbands as he hearkens to The Lord, I take that to mean Im only under covenant to follow my husband when he follows God.

So youre his judge, my Sunday school teacher said. Well, now hed twisted my words around to make my interpretation sound unfair.

No, I dont think judge is the right label. Lets say a woman has a husband who hits her. I think its safe to say hes not harkening unto The Lord and that the wife is no longer under any obligation to be submissive to her husband.

So youre his judge, the teacher repeated.

I knew a losing battle when I saw one. Its the responsibility of every self-respecting woman to judge her husband, I quipped.

A few people laughed, and the woman behind me poked me in the shoulder and gave me two thumbs up. I allowed myself to feel optimistic about where the lesson was going.

That was probably my first mistake.

For the next twenty minutes I listened to the teacher explain how a man is more likely to treat his wife with respect and love when he understands that the temple covenants essentially make him a God to his wife.

On the other hand, sometimes we like to talk about other stuff. After all, we have to get a job and take care of those cute little kids. Then, there’s a bit of a class war going on, and it can be difficult to follow the money. Plus there are cool conferences to attend and emasculating godless Communist philosophies to expose. Not to mention art appreciation!!

Now, I’m looking looking at this fun little blog that I so enjoy, and I’ve noticed that this makes three SiOB’s in a row without any other posts in between them. (And the media sidebars here haven’t been updated lately, and, looking at my clock, I see that I kinda missed “Sunday” again.) This is not a sign that this place has been abandoned in favor of playing Minecraft and posting the videos of it on youtube. It’s also that organizing stuff for the Sunstone Symposium this Summer has cut into my Internet time as well — not that it’s difficult or loads of work or anything, yet it’s weirdly stressful. (BTW — I hope to see you all there!!!)

Fortunately, the stressful part is essentially done, so I can hopefully update the blog a little better. That said, the whole point of Main Street Plaza is to be a community blog. So don’t be shy about contacting me (chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com) to post something here — for example with a little commentary on a news item, or cross-post or tie-in with some ideas you’re posting on your own blog. And have a great week!!

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11 Comments

  1. 1
    Angela says:

    This is my favorite Sunday in Outer Blogness edition yet. Then again, I might be a tad biased. ;)

       0 likes

  2. 2
    chanson says:

    Angela — glad you like it! :D

    I’ve been following your blog ever since you left a comment here a few weeks ago, and I’m impressed!! You’ve been several interesting stories every week!

       0 likes

  3. 3
    chanson says:

    BTW — the story I quoted above really jumped out at me during my weekly blog reading. The idea that a woman has to submit to her husband, and has no business “judging” whether his commands are reasonable or not….? Wow!

    The trouble is that one’s husband is only human, and it’s too easy to get into a relationship where you’re expected to submit to harmful/unreasonable demands. I’ve read too many stories from women about the disastrous results in such a case.

    The thing that really burns me about lessons like the above is the lack of empathy on the part of the guy giving that lecture. Sure, the counsel in that lesson will inevitably lead to a few people being abused, but since he’s not a woman, he won’t be one of them, so there’s no sense in his wasting any of his time worrying about that possibility…

       0 likes

  4. 4
    Donna Banta says:

    That is one scary SS lesson!

       0 likes

  5. 5
    aerin says:

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have been insanely busy recently, more so than usual. I do have a couple of posts I want to draft, but it’s a matter of having the free time (and the pc) to really think them out and post. I too welcome the guest posts. Thanks as always for putting this together chanson.

       0 likes

  6. 6
    chanson says:

    Aerin — I look forward to seeing them! No stress on the time frame. :D

       0 likes

  7. 7
    Angela says:

    Chanson–I think that’s probably one of the most extreme and troubling lessons I’ve ever sat through. And what upset me the most was the way everyone (including me) just sat there. Like this was perfectly normal. Isn’t there a term for that?

       0 likes

  8. 8
    Alan says:

    I like the exchange with the teacher and 9-year-old. I wonder if that’s all the word “reverence” amounts to: “Don’t think critically or talk. Just listen to me.”

    Another good one from that reddit post:

    Teacher: the Holy Ghost and Jesus can see everything.

    10-year-old: Even when you are in the bathroom?

    Teacher: … well, yeah. Everywhere.

    10-year-old: (taken back) Wow. That is gross…

       1 likes

  9. 9
    Alan says:

    @7

    And what upset me the most was the way everyone (including me) just sat there. Like this was perfectly normal. Isnt there a term for that?

    Apparently, it’s called “reverence.” (lol @ self)

       1 likes

  10. 10
    chanson says:

    @9 Yeah, that’s probably it.

    The only ones I could come up with were “groupthink” and “Stockholm Syndrome” — which I’m not sure are quite what we’re talking about. It’s more like that psychology experiment were they have twelve accomplices say that two lines are the same length (when one’s obviously shorter than the other), and the poor guinea pig of the experiment invariably second-guesses his own eyesight and agrees with whatever everyone else said. But in a Mormon context, there’s also the component of reverence, obedience, and sustaining your priesthood leaders…

       0 likes

  11. 11
    kuri says:

    But in a Mormon context, theres also the component of reverence, obedience, and sustaining your priesthood leaders

    And not being “contentious.” Expressing public disagreement in itself is often considered inappropriate in Mormon culture.

    But the experiment that Sunday School class reminds me of is the one where smoke starts pouring into a room and the subject ignores it because everyone else (all experimenters) does. I’d bet that Angela wasn’t the only one thinking, “What?! But nobody’s saying anything… I guess they all agree…?”

       0 likes

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